The Past That Might Have Been, the Future That May Come

Women Writing Fantastic Fiction, 1960s to the Present


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About the Book

This book explores how contemporary fantastic fiction by women writers responds to the past and imagines the future. The first two chapters look at revisionist rewritings of fairy tales and historical texts; the third and fourth focus on future-oriented narratives including dystopias and space fiction. Writers considered include Margaret Atwood, Octavia E. Butler, Angela Carter, Ursula K. Le Guin, Doris Lessing, and Jeanette Winterson, among others. The author argues that an analysis of how past and future are understood in women’s fantastic fictions brings to light an “ethics of becoming” in the texts—a way of interrupting, revising and remaking problematic power structures that are tied to identity markers like class, gender and race. The book reveals how fantastic fiction can be read as narratives of disruption that enable the creation of an ethics of becoming.

About the Author(s)

Lauren J. Lacey is an associate professor of English at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

Lauren J. Lacey

Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7826-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1430-4
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Preface 1
Introduction: Fantastic Interventions 5
One. Beastly Beauty and Other Revisioned Fairy Tales 21
Two. Tampering with Time in Historical Narratives 64
Three. Working Through the Wreckage in Dystopian Fiction 104
Four. Becoming-Alien in Feminist Space Fiction 142
Conclusion: Becoming Powerful 174
Chapter Notes 179
Works Cited 186
Index 193